There is an old saying that everything grows bigger in Texas, and largemouth bass are certainly no exception.
Story and Photography by Matt Williams
With a Top 50 records list that ranges from 18.18 pounds on the top side to 15.38 in the cellar, the Lone Star state has a rich history of producing whopper bass with serious weight problems. Only Florida, Georgia and California have produced bigger fish.
Texas bass fishing is so good and so widespread that word of an eight pounder no longer raises eyebrows with our state’s enthusiastic army of one million-plus bass anglers. If fact, a fish of that caliber may not even fit the bill as a legal size “keeper” on some lakes where restrictive limits have been implemented to enhance trophy potential.
Double-digit bass are the ones that turn heads in Texas these days, especially those weighing 13 pounds or more. That’s how hefty a fish must be to qualify for entry to the Toyota ShareLunker program.
ShareLunker is a highly-profile program run by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department since Nov. 1986. Anglers who catch a bass weighing 13 pounds or more are encouraged to temporarily “loan” the fish to the state for spawning and genetics research. The program runs from Oct. 1 to April 30. However, beginning this year, the only fish biologists will attempt to spawn are those that are caught between Jan. 1 and the end of April.